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Subject: First play thoughts rss

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dutchman
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I don't own the game, but was part of a 5 player game on Saturday.

* we did not come close to running out of goats
* but, we did run out of fences with a turn and a half left in the game
* 2 players complained of runaway leader syndrome
-- I suppose for players that haven't figured out the strategy, this is true
-- or, if you get unlucky and are never able to put together a high VP dinosaur
-- on a personal note, I lost the game because I could not get a 3rd Ankylosaur DNA at all over the last 3 turns - and no other sets either
-- the Tour Bus is a great catch up tile, it kept me near the leader, so the Ankylosaur would have pushed me over the edge

Overall, I do like Dinogenics way better than Dinosaur Island, although the 2 players complaining of runaway leader soured the experience a little. Dinosaur Island left me unsatisfied every time I've played it, mainly because there's no time to use the engine you've built. Dinogenics felt good to me, I had no "darn, I wish I could have" moments at the end of the game - at least not from the mechanics.

There are 3 aspects of the game I wish I had more control over.
1) being able to cycle through more DNA to have a better chance of making sets
2) having more spots to turn in DNA - I'm not sure growing a dinosaur should be a limited space spot - at the very least, there should be more than one spot in the pay to use a full spot spot, and more action cards that let you budge in
3) some of the action cards are extremely weak, while some are almost game breaking powerful - I understand the relative power level of the action cards being dissimilar, but the huge swing from weakest to strongest is way too large, imo
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Phil Swartzell
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A lot of people seem to overlook the boneyard options. Yes, it gives you a Scandal, but that can be overcome. It definitely lets you get the DNA you need more consistently and that can make a huge change.

Part of the game is, of course, reacting to the cards you get. You may need to adjust and go after a different dinosaur or concentrate on commercial buildings if you cannot get the cards you need.

I've heard the "runwaway leader" issue before, but have not seen it yet. At least in my very humble opinion that seems to be people concentrating on one strategy so hard that they don't know how to adjust yet. The game actually has some pretty decent strategy options but so many people concentrate on just getting certain dinosaurs that they get stuck.
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Paul Paella
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After a few plays our group has seen the same as in the original post.

We're pretty concerned with the run-away leader issue, especially when one player has a horrible first turn, which usually is a combination of going last in turn order on turn 1 (randomly determined), or 2nd-last, and having no useful starting DNA cards when there turn comes around. We've had a couple games where, by the time the last player gets to go, the DNA market and boneyard is empty of matching DNA in hand, or the cards are not practical to build a dino (3 pterodactyl and no Biodome!!), and that's not easy to recover from.

Our group is also quickly souring on the high percentage of negative Breaking News cards (I think ratio is 2 negative to 1 positive). One game we had 6 consecutive negative cards come up and this was just not fun at all, and the poor player that was last in turn order in the pre-season was completely screwed and out of the game, all due to randomness. Not good.

The game is super fun, but as it is now, you have to be willing to endure wild randomness as part of the experience.
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pswartzell wrote:
A lot of people seem to overlook the boneyard options.

I didn't overlook the Boneyard, it simply wasn't of any help. Also, it could benefit from a 2nd spot.
 
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Tony Mastrangeli
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I've only played once, and I was worried about the same thing. I jumped out to a strong lead by making lots of different dinos. My wife actually capitalized on some good building synergy (hotels and buildings that give you bonuses for them) that, even though she had less reputation and dinos than me, the final score ended up being only a 1 point difference (i did hold on to the win).
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Tahsin Shamma
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Sounds similar to my son and my game.

He went for lots of dino variety and 0 hotels. Exclusive experience resort.

I went for all herbivores and lots of hotels, kinda a San Diego Zoo experience.

He won by 10 or so points. I consider it a win because I had the animatronic T-Rex.
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Heike Pohl
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Re: First play thoughts - Leader
I´m worried too. The first Player gets the most visitors, so more Money to buy new things, f.e. new fences for a dino.
The last Player get less income and can´t do such things. Most games Twist this isue - f.e. the last Player gets the most visitors.....

What do you mean about the leader role and the Advantages?
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Richard Keene
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A couple pointers for staying competitive even if you feel like you are behind.

Never shy away from building a pterodactyl if you can do it. Even if it rampages every round for the rest of the game it is still way more valuable than having no dinosaur at all.

Players can always build at least a mutant in the pre-season. This is by design. A mutant built in the pre-season is worth 14 points over the course of the game. This is the same as a Triceratops and only 7 VP less than a stegosaurus. Also, don’t forget that one mutant turns into two very easy and two into four.

Always build a hotel in the early game if you have extra money. A hotel will pay for itself quickly and it is very likely that bonus visitors will make their way down to you if the reputation leader is using all of his actions to get dinosaurs and goats instead of building hotels themselves.

If you have an odd number of visitors, ALWAYS use Time Share to round them out. That visitor and $1 may seem inconsequential but that is 3 VP, or the same as having an extra stegosaurus in your park.

Sell Brontosaurus and T-Rex DNA in the early game. These sell for $5 and $4 respectively, and generally speaking, they are not good investments in the early game.

Adapt! DinoGenics is not a game where you can ignore your opponents. If you see opponents collecting a particular set of DNA, make sure they can’t get the rest of it. If someone puts down a 1x3 pen, they are building a T-Rex. Make sure they can’t get goats to feed it. If you get blocked in one way, don't be afraid to change things up and go in a different direction.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid of scandals. For the first 5 rounds of the game, scandals should be a minor inconvenience at worst. If you get one, just use the Agency to discard it. The manipulation cards you acquire for doing this with broaden your options later in the game.
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Malte Hue
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In our 3 player game yesterday I was in lead in the reputation track from round 2 in.
I was last in points in the end... The workers you spend for expensive dinosaurs and goats you cannot use for other things that give you points.
Plus, I didn't feel like the 1 or 2 visitors I got more than my opponents made that much of a difference.
 
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The Waffler
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lordnine wrote:
A couple pointers for staying competitive even if you feel like you are behind.

Never shy away from building a pterodactyl if you can do it. Even if it rampages every round for the rest of the game it is still way more valuable than having no dinosaur at all.

Players can always build at least a mutant in the pre-season. This is by design. A mutant built in the pre-season is worth 14 points over the course of the game. This is the same as a Triceratops and only 7 VP less than a stegosaurus. Also, don’t forget that one mutant turns into two very easy and two into four.

Always build a hotel in the early game if you have extra money. A hotel will pay for itself quickly and it is very likely that bonus visitors will make their way down to you if the reputation leader is using all of his actions to get dinosaurs and goats instead of building hotels themselves.

If you have an odd number of visitors, ALWAYS use Time Share to round them out. That visitor and $1 may seem inconsequential but that is 3 VP, or the same as having an extra stegosaurus in your park.

Sell Brontosaurus and T-Rex DNA in the early game. These sell for $5 and $4 respectively, and generally speaking, they are not good investments in the early game.

Adapt! DinoGenics is not a game where you can ignore your opponents. If you see opponents collecting a particular set of DNA, make sure they can’t get the rest of it. If someone puts down a 1x3 pen, they are building a T-Rex. Make sure they can’t get goats to feed it. If you get blocked in one way, don't be afraid to change things up and go in a different direction.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid of scandals. For the first 5 rounds of the game, scandals should be a minor inconvenience at worst. If you get one, just use the Agency to discard it. The manipulation cards you acquire for doing this with broaden your options later in the game.


Thanks for these tips. It pointed out a lot of stuff I didn't think about. Especially utilizing Mutants... i will say my first game I didn't even think about building a mutant, but I can see the advantage of them if you can't get anything else.

Loving this game so far!
 
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Bernie Bresnahan
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We finally got this to the table a few days ago and had a great time.
Some observations;

The rulebook was pretty decent and we were able to find answers to questions fairly quickly. Constantly had to refer to the page referencing what tiles coming into the market did. Can see we need to print a 1-sheet player aid for reference.

I was shocked at the footprint of this beast. It really takes all of your table space and still wants more. Wish it was a bit more compact.

Getting the player turn disks out of the tracker wasn't always easy either.

During play I noticed that quite a few of the Visitor Meeples are chipped. Weird.

Length of the game played out seemed appropriate, though there was some confusion when the book tells you repeatedly that there are 7 seasons and the tracker only shows 6. IMO the rulebook shouldn't have counted the pre-season into the total number of seasons. We'll know this going forward, it's just a nit-picky thing.

It's nice to have an organizer tray in the box, not sure how the Dev's organize their stuff. The tray kind of works but is a bit clunky. Appreciate the 2x spaces for Cards being big enough to accommodate sleeves (if desired). Just feels like there wasn't much thought as to how everything else actually fits into the insert.

In a perfect world, the insert would be designed into quadrants with labeled removable compartments.

Felt that The Agency was a bit too good of a spot picking up 2x cards AND ditching a Scandal token. I might house rule later after a few more plays to address this if it still seems too good.
 
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Chris Grenard
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BernieTime wrote:
In a perfect world, the insert would be designed into quadrants with labeled removable compartments.


We actually tried to do this! Between the language barrier of trying to translate our ideas into a foreign language, the additional complexity of design, and the problem of still having to store the two punch boards during transit, we just couldn't get it to work.

I've spoken with Broken Token, they said if we end up with a second printing they might be interested in making a custom insert! No guarantees, but we think this would be amazing, and we'd totally be buying it ourselves.
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Oh yeah! I forgot about the satellite boards. All of the side boards in this copy were warped. They loved to spin if you even looked at them. Then the season overlay... Made collecting the visitors a challenge.
 
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David Griffin
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goldfenix wrote:
BernieTime wrote:
In a perfect world, the insert would be designed into quadrants with labeled removable compartments.


We actually tried to do this! Between the language barrier of trying to translate our ideas into a foreign language, the additional complexity of design, and the problem of still having to store the two punch boards during transit, we just couldn't get it to work.

I've spoken with Broken Token, they said if we end up with a second printing they might be interested in making a custom insert! No guarantees, but we think this would be amazing, and we'd totally be buying it ourselves.


If it happens, try to get them to make it to hold any expansions you may be planning.
 
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Paul Paella
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BernieTime wrote:
Can see we need to print a 1-sheet player aid for reference.


I made one. It's been vetted over a couple of games but could use some more eyes before public release.

I tweaked the wording to make the confusing tiles more clear, based on official replies here. Anyone want a preview copy to comment on?
 
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The Waffler
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I think it is funny that people are complaining about a runaway leader in this game and I feel like Dinosaur island was the opposite, people complained about the "catch up" mechanic being too powerful.

Seems like utilizing mutants is key if you are behind or can't get the dinosaur DNA you need. I pretty much ignored mutants in my game, probably to my disadvantage. I will have to try it out.
 
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Chris Grenard
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monorico wrote:
I think it is funny that people are complaining about a runaway leader in this game and I feel like Dinosaur island was the opposite, people complained about the "catch up" mechanic being too powerful.

Seems like utilizing mutants is key if you are behind or can't get the dinosaur DNA you need. I pretty much ignored mutants in my game, probably to my disadvantage. I will have to try it out.


I love mutants. They are my go-to strategy. It's not unusual for me to end with 8 mutants, a stegosaurus and, a triceratops. Forget visitors, buy monuments, eat all the goats, and play lots of manipulation cards!
 
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